Is devil caught with utmost difficulty? Is Satan an imaginary character to frighten people?
Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.
"…Serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan and bound him a thousand years. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled…." (20:2, 3.)
C. It was with the utmost difficulty that the Devil was caught and kept imprisoned for 1,000 years. Will he not again deceive the people when he is set free again! Such a wicked individual ought to have been imprisoned for life or put to death. But the fact is that this is a mere delusion of the Christians. There is not such thing as the Devil.They simply devised this method to frighten people, and thereby ensnare them in their net. Just as a scoundrel said to some simple people: "Come with me, and I shall show you the God Narayana," He had previously placed a man in some lonely spot in a bush, in such a position that he appeared to have four arms. He told them that when the asked them to open or to close their eyes they should do so. Whosoever disobeyed him will lose his eyesight.
Then he proceeded with them towards the place. When he came to the spot where that four-armed man could be seen he ordered them to look in front, and in the next moment told them to shut their eyes. When the four-armed man had hid himself in the bush, he asked them to open their eyes again and said, behold! You have all seen Narayana. The same is true of the quackery of the religionists. Hence one should do his best not to fall in there trap.
Answer: Again Maharishi shows his mastery in wrenching out passages to impose his erroneous understanding. Maharishi quoted Revelation 20: 2-3. Let us read Revelation 20:1-3.
Rev 20:1-3 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”
If an angel could bind Satan, then it was not surely with “utmost difficulty that the Devil was caught and kept imprisoned.”
It was just an angel. If one angel could bind Satan, then no one would say that it was utmost difficulty. So by quoting just one more verse, Maharishi’s error has been exposed.
Further, any person reading this very chapter would hardly say that “They simply devised this method to frighten people, and thereby ensnare them in their net.”
Let us read this very chapter in the Book of Revelation.
Revelation 20:9-10 “They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
A devil who will be caught and cast into the lake of fire and brimstone forever and ever. Is such a creature a thing to fear?
In fact, the Holy Bible does not devote much to Satan.
The Holy Bible devotes much time to the justice and love of God rather than about devil. So Maharishi charge is a mere charge without substance.
Now one wonders why would Maharishi doubt the existence of Satan when he believes in the supernatural beings.
For example when Maharishi was asked about the existence of God, he answered the following:
Question: How can you prove His existence?
A.~ By the evidences of direct cognition, Inference, Testimony and History. (Satyarth Prakash, Chapter 7, God And The Veda.). Maharishi then went on to add the testimony of Vedic sages.
Though Christians would not have direct cognition of Satan, inference, testimony and history can be evidences for the existence of Satan as well. Further, prophets of the Holy Bible have clearly spoken against the evil deceiver Satan which presupposes his existence.